In less than a year, Emblem3 have gone from relative unknowns to the next wave of pop stars.
The group — Drew Chadwick and brothers Wesley and Keaton Stromberg — won over viewers on last season's "The X Factor" with their laidback surfer vibe, proving they had what it takes to gain commercial success. Following their fourth-place finish, the SoCal trio signed with Simon Cowell's Syco Music and Columbia Records, and released their debut album, Nothing to Lose, on Tuesday (July 30).
Teaming up with hitmakers Max Martin and One Direction songwriter Savan Kotecha, Emblem3 — who released the lead single, "Chloe (You're the One I Want)" last month — have delivered an album made to accompany fans not only on their summer days, but on their long summer nights.
The trio stopped by MTV News to give us the breakdown on five tracks featured on Nothing to Lose, which Drew describes as "Justin Timberlake meets Sublime."
Fun.'s Jack Antonoff helped the guys write this laidback uptempo track. Antonoff has experience writing songs about the perfect night out — his band's "We Are Young" — but "Spaghetti" encompasses everything about a perfect summer night in with friends.
"Let's ditch the party, ignore everybody/ And we'll make spaghetti, and it'd be all ready," the trio sing on the track.
"It's basically, you don't want to go to a rager, you just want to have a kick back and make spaghetti with your friends and just hang out and chill and relax, rather than go to a huge party," Keaton explained.
Emblem3 recruited brothers Benji and Joel Madden to help pen "XO," and it definitely has that Good Charlotte sound. Emblem3's voices are reminiscent of the punk-pop band, yet while Good Charlotte sang about not wanting to be in love on "Dance Floor Anthem," Emblem3 are embracing romance with the mid-tempo track "XO," with Drew saying, "It's pretty much written for girls."
"I'm giving you the X's/ I'm giving you the O's/ I'm giving you everything in between/ I saved it all for you," they sing.
"Nothing to Lose"
The beach-ready title track opens with Drew's signature rapping about trying to win over a girl before the night ends. "I wanna make you my lady/ I ain't tryna' hear no 'Call me Maybe'/ I ain't never seen a girl so sweet/ I could be your surfboard/ You could be my beach," Drew raps on the song, which Keaton says is very "relatable."
The song was co-written by Max Martin, the musical mastermind who has worked with some of pop music's biggest artists including Britney Spears and Justin Bieber.
This slow ballad has the SoCal trio battling with a case of homesickness, longing to be back with their family and friends. "For me, this song is about home, and back in Washington state, the town that I grew up in, friends, family that I miss that I don't get to see anymore," Drew explained. "It's basically about missing them and reminiscing about all the good times you used to have."
Wes continued, "It's cool because everyone can relate to that when you go off to college and miss your hometown."
This uptempo tune is a perfect song to gear up for a memorable night out. " 'Cause we're teenage kings pretending we're famous/ And we won't leave til someone gets shameless," the guys sing on the track, which Drew said was inspired by the flick "Project X," about a group of teens who throw an epic party.
"It's like a nerdy freshman that goes to a sick party," Wes said. "My perspective is like it's coming from a nerd because he's pretending to be like a teenage king at this party."
What is your favorite song on Nothing to Lose? Let us know in the comments below!